Monday, December 15, 2008

As I re-evaluate the dress code

Thursdays are our Pyjama Days, aka, Stay at Home and Look Ugly days. Shep is the only one with school, ie, the only one who needs to even put on clothes. If we do get dressed, it is in the stack of play clothes set aside specifically due to stains or simple tackiness.

I had intended for this past Thursday to be a Crafty Thursday. But alas, I was ill-prepared. So it turned instead into a Please, The Weather Is Nice for Once, Just Go Outside and Play in the Backyard and Maybe By Some Miracle I Can Get a Load of Laundry Folded Thursday.

So far so good. Shep had a pair of scissors and was using them to fell an elephant ear plant that we have. Which was fine with me, because I am less than fond of the elephant ear plant. Elephant ears look like - sit down - elephant ears. Big heart-shaped leaves, and in my opinion, a little too Land of the Lost-ish to be pretty.

This particular one was a remnant of landscaping days gone by and grew like an odd duck along our fence. Of course, since I do not care for it, it grows as though it were lovingly fertilized and sung arias to daily. Cut away, Shep.

I checked on orally fixated Maggie and found her pretending to eat the elephant ear. Warned her "No mouth, Maggie! No. Mouth." She threw it on the ground and smiled at me. I folded some more.

Until a minute or so later when she came running in to the living room. Screaming. And gagging. And screaming, "My mouf! My mouf!"

I ran to her and asked the question I already knew the answer to. "Did you eat the plant Maggie?"


"Maggie, does it taste bad, or does it burn?"

"Tate bad! Bun! Bun!"

Locating my personal at home pediatrician and poison expert, Dr. Google, I typed in "elephant ear plant poisonous". And read this:

Intense burning and irritation of the mouth and tongue.
Death can occur if base of the tongue swells enough
to block the air passage of the throat.

Um, death?

One look at her throat revealed her tonsils were so swollen they were almost blocking her throat. Where her air passages.


At which point I could not find my car keys.

About three minutes and about 38 Dear sweet Jesus please's later, the keys were located on the back of the stove.

And so the Von Trash Family made a little trip to the ER.

Now fortunately these corner emergency clinics have been popping up left and right in my neck of the woods, which, knowing my kids and my parenting skilz, I have considered quite a blessing. Within five minutes I was unloading four children:
  • One barefoot baby with a dirty diaper
  • One little girl with hair in a That Should Keep It Out of Your Breakfast do, in a too-short top showing her tummy.
  • Another little girl in rather hideous purple flowered pants, also barefoot
  • And one little boy with a container around his neck. Occupied by a lizard. Who announced gleefully to everyone he saw, "My baby sister ate a POISONOUS PLANT. She could die, you know!"
Plus one frazzled mom in sweat pants and a very ratty headband, wanting to introduce herself as, "Hello, and yes we have an emergency, but first off the bat can I just say today is our stay-at-home-day and I swear we are not as white trash as we look."

Of course Maggie had quit screaming by this point and as she climbed the chairs in the waiting room, I repeatedly peered in her throat, then her Eva Rose's throat, then her throat, then Shep's throat, trying to gauge if she was indeed swollen enough to warrant a $100 emergency room co-pay. She was definitely swollen. Her skanky top was defintely wet with drool. And as I operate on a guilt-aversion basis, I laid out the plastic and we were ushered back into the examining room.

Which was better than a trip to Costco for my kids. Ike had cabinets to open and shut, Maggie climbed in and out of the bed, Shep accepted the challenge of turning tongue depressors into weapons, and Eva Rose blew the latex gloves into balloons.

A sterile preschool Nirvana, it was.

And after the doctor checked with Poison Control and determined that she would live, the joys only increased. Lollipops, stickers, and gloves, oh my!

We returned home. The baby was put to bed, and the kids were put in front of the TV.

And the momma? Well, she started dinner, and counted her blessings.


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